Hope and despair occurred on both sides of the Atlantic within the last 48 hours. Of course, one man's hope is another man's despair.
Which road are you taking? by Google Images w/caption by Rev Dan
LAS LUNAS, N.M. -- An openly gay New Mexico high school student who spoke out against bullying died Tuesday after his family removed him from life support following a suicide attempt over the weekend.
YAOUNDE, Cameroon -- Eric Ohena Lembembe, a prominent LGBT rights advocate and journalist was found dead at his home in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Monday evening.
London, ENG - Legislation to introduce same-sex marriage is expected to complete its passage through the House of Commons on Tuesday, with the first weddings under the law to take place in England and Wales next summer.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Major League Baseball says it will bolster its policies against harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to a new agreement provided to The Associated Press on Monday.
Both the Christian Right and Progressive Christians started the week out with good news, but what was hope for one side, was despair for the other. The horrible death (bludgeoned and burned) of Eric Lembembe, Cameroon's prominent gay activist gladdened the hearts of people like Scott Lively (instigator of Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill), reassuring them that Africa, at least, was theirs for the saving; it also struck fear in the hearts of the LGBT community in Africa.
"Today comes the crushing news, via Human Rights Watch, that LGBTI activist Eric Ohena Lembembe has been tortured and killed, and that the headquarters of Alternatives-Cameroon, the HIV services organization featured in the documentary as a refuge for so many people, has been burned down."
The suicide of one teen in New Mexico probably delighted Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, since the note left on Twitter seems to prove his premise that all gays suffer from depression:
Carlos Vigil, 17, posted this on Twitter:
"I'm sorry to those who I offended over the years. I'm blind to see that I, as a human being, suck. I'm an individual who is doing an injustice to the world and it's time for me to leave. Please don't ever feel sorry for me, or cry -- because I had an opportunity at life and that opportunity is over. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to love someone or have someone love me. I guess it's best though, because now I leave no pain onto anyone. The kids in school are right, I am a loser, a freak, and a f*g and in no way is that acceptable for people to deal with. I'm sorry for not being a person that would make someone proud.
I'm free now. Xoxo.
But hope was born out of the despair of Carlos' family who pleaded for America to "STOP THE BULLYING!"
Also leading to Perkins' despair must be the knowledge that Queen Elizabeth II is set to give "royal assent" to a bill for same-sex marriage in the United Kingdom. The bill will give marriage equality a boost overseas.
And the greatest of American traditions - Major League Baseball - has agreed to beef up enforcement of its non-discrimination policies.
When Hope Outweighs Despair
The levels of hope and despair in America (especially concerning the LGBT community) have fluctuated wildly in the last decade: Iraq, Obama, recession, gay rights, gun control, created hope and despair on both sides of the socio-political scene, one man's despair, being the other man's hope. It's all oddly balanced, but it's a tenuous balance we wish we wouldn't have to endure: oh, for the day when hope outweighs despair. But that day will come only when all men are equal and accepted for who they are.
Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books " Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most interesting people of our time: Steve Allen, William F. Buckley, Alan Ginsburg, Armisted Maupin, Anne Rice, Grace Slick, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Patricia Nell Warren, and Betty White.
He is also an ordained minister in the ULC and has studied extensively on the subject of the Bible and homosexuality. Additional articles can be read on his blog, The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Future goals and activities: a new ministry focusing on reaching personal spiritual levels without the outside influence of proselytism or evangelism called The Church of the Inner Preacher. This ministry will be included in a new website The Devil and Dan Vojir.
Vojir's main goal: to root out hypocrisy in religion and politics. "If only one person is saved from being killed or bashed by inane bigotry, then I'll have accomplished what I was put on earth to do: To Live and Help Live."